Brexit in history

When the history of this decade comes to be written, we may conclude that in voting to leave the European Union as it drifts towards the economic and political rocks, Britain has averted rather than experienced a populist revolution and the election of a demagogue. We have prevented the installation of a British Trump, or …

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Hate crime

The increasing confusion about what hate crime means, who it refers to and what it covers is having its own divisive effect. Inflated hate crime figures are reinforcing division by painting a picture of a Britain more bigoted and hate-filled than it actually is. It has also created a two-tier justice system, because when it …

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Corbyn and Trump

Jeremy Corbyn is not as straightforward as his supporters claim. He has, most notably, been disingenuous about his real views on Brexit. But then Trump used to be a Democrat. Authenticity is not the same as policy consistency. John Rentoul Source: Can Jeremy Corbyn win by becoming a left-wing Donald Trump, railing against the ‘rigged …

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Corbyn and May

When Corbyn promises to “break the grip of vested interests” he’s saying what Labour leaders have always said. The trouble is that it’s not very different from what Theresa May is saying, and she says it a bit better than he does. John Rentoul Source: Can Jeremy Corbyn win by becoming a left-wing Donald Trump, …

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Trump as Nixon

After he became President in 1969, during his very first post-election session with Henry Kissinger, who would become his national security advisor, Nixon rebuked the Agency as a group of “Ivy League liberals” who lacked analytic integrity and had always opposed him politically. Like Trump, Nixon did not see the value of CIA intelligence briefings. …

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Russia and hacking

One of the striking aspects emerging about the hacking scandal is that British intelligence was apparently first to tip off US intelligence that Russian hackers were targeting Democrat computer servers. It is reported that the same Russian cyber group that allegedly interfered in the US election, “Fancy Bears,” previously attempted to disrupt the UK General …

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Obama: success or failure?

The wages of expectation are paid in disappointment. That, too, is one lesson to be drawn from Obama’s presidency. If you are led to expect $100 you will be disappointed to receive just $50. Obama never quite managed to balance results with expectations. Alex Massie Source: The lost promise of the Obama presidency – CapX

The Centre Left

Those who claim leadership of the centre-Left (in which I include Tory liberals) are know-nothing poseurs who talk only to each other. What is now called (as if it were a brand new phenomenon) the cosmopolitan governing class is not new at all. It is the established bourgeoisie of our age which embraces all the …

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Tackling poverty? Give people money.

Last year the Overseas Development Institute reviewed 165 studies into 56 cash transfer programs in 30 different countries to find out their true effectiveness. The findings showed that cash transfers had improved school attendance and reduced child labour, boosted access to healthcare, improved and diversified diets, stimulated local economies and resulted in a reduction in domestic violence. …

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Why Montenegro matters

Montegnegro’s bid to join NATO will create an early test case for Trump’s anticipated reset of U.S.-Russian relations: if Trump wants to cater to Putin, he’ll get Senate Republicans to ice Montenegro’s bid; if Trump wants to signal that warming ties does not mean acquiescing in another Yalta, he’ll green-light Senate ratification and Montenegro will join …

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Steven Mnuchin

Nominated Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has been almost as successful financially as James Mattis has been militarily. He left Goldman Sachs 14 years ago, and everything he has touched since — from the movie Avatar to the failed housing lender IndyMac to the Trump campaign itself — has turned to gold. Niall Ferguson Source: Trump’s Mad …

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Mattis

Interesting view here from Niall Ferguson: General James Mattis, who has been named Donald Trump’s secretary of defence, earned a daunting reputation as a master of kinetic warfare as the commander of the 1st Marine Division in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During the push to Baghdad, he relieved a colonel of his command for not …

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Castro

We cannot afford to argue the toss about dictators, parse the difference between the really bad ones and the less bad ones who looked cute in a beret. Refusing to decry dictatorship is a self-indulgence Zoe Williams Source: Forget Fidel Castro’s policies. What matters is that he was a dictator | Zoe Williams | Opinion …

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